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ideas, criticism, debate
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<strong><em>Privilege</em></strong>: We hear that word a lot these days, usually as an indictment lobbed by the privileged themselves. Why? Matthew Crawford has a theory

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 17:10
Privilege: We hear that word a lot these days, usually as an indictment lobbed by the privileged themselves. Why? Matthew Crawford has a theory

The man who discovered probability. We now live in a Bayesian age, but for centuries <strong>Thomas Bayes&nbsp;</strong>was dismissed as a crank. It's a scandal of modern intellectual life

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:24
The man who discovered probability. We now live in a Bayesian age, but for centuries Thomas Bayes was dismissed as a crank. It's a scandal of modern intellectual life

The ancient Athenian <strong>Alcibiades</strong>&nbsp;punched his future father-in-law, bit his wrestling opponent, and tried to seduce everyone. How an appalling man became so appealing

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:24
The ancient Athenian Alcibiades punched his future father-in-law, bit his wrestling opponent, and tried to seduce everyone. How an appalling man became so appealing

Our culture scoffs at Freud and Jung and puts its faith in science and statistics. One hole in this pervasive rationality: the <strong>magic of coincidences</strong>

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:24
Our culture scoffs at Freud and Jung and puts its faith in science and statistics. One hole in this pervasive rationality: the magic of coincidences

Concerns about <strong>cultural appropriation</strong>&nbsp;in literature have mounted. These complaints are baffling: What, exactly, is cultural appropriation?

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 15:39
Concerns about cultural appropriation in literature have mounted. These complaints are baffling: What, exactly, is cultural appropriation?

The <strong>memoir as manual</strong>&nbsp;is a most irksome publishing craze. As if life were a tidy moral lesson, and every idiosyncratic experience worthy of extrapolation

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 15:39
The memoir as manual is a most irksome publishing craze. As if life were a tidy moral lesson, and every idiosyncratic experience worthy of extrapolation

The Western canon emerged from a textual culture. Now we're in a digital age, when information is infinite. <strong>What authority do the Great Books still possess</strong>?&nbsp;

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 15:39
The Western canon emerged from a textual culture. Now we're in a digital age, when information is infinite. What authority do the Great Books still possess

<strong>Lewis Carroll in Russia.</strong> He arrived with wide-eyed enthusiasm, any by all accounts seemed to enjoy himself, yet he would never venture abroad again

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 18:40
Lewis Carroll in Russia. He arrived with wide-eyed enthusiasm, any by all accounts seemed to enjoy himself, yet he would never venture abroad again

To unpack the debate over &ldquo;Afro-pessimism&rdquo; and the theories of Frantz Fanon and Fred Moten, consider the work of the poet <strong>Aim&eacute; C&eacute;saire</strong>

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 18:40
To unpack the debate over “Afro-pessimism” and the theories of Frantz Fanon and Fred Moten, consider the work of the poet Aimé Césaire

Have we fundamentally misunderstood our relationship with the Earth? <strong>Bruno Latour</strong> suspects so, and goes to meet the 98-year old behind the &ldquo;Gaia&rdquo; hypothesis

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 18:40
Have we fundamentally misunderstood our relationship with the Earth? Bruno Latour suspects so, and goes to meet the 98-year old behind the “Gaia” hypothesis

<strong>A rave, in 1518</strong>. A woman stepped outside her house in Strasbourg and jigged for days on end. Hundreds joined in, some until they lost consciousness or died

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 14:40
A rave, in 1518. A woman stepped outside her house in Strasbourg and jigged for days on end. Hundreds joined in, some until they lost consciousness or died

Horror, wonder, awe. To observe <strong>jellyfish</strong> is to experience both the beauty and the danger of the natural world

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 14:40
Horror, wonder, awe. To observe jellyfish is to experience both the beauty and the danger of the natural world

The lone male artist has often been taken as a genius; the <strong>lone female artist</strong> as a muse or &ldquo;art monster.&rdquo; But art does not have to be masculine or feminine

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 14:40
The lone male artist has often been taken as a genius; the lone female artist as a muse or “art monster.” But art does not have to be masculine or feminine

Taken from his dorm at Moscow&rsquo;s Literary Institute in the middle of the night, <strong>Naum Korzhavin</strong> faced down his interrogators and survived. He &ldquo;won this idiocy contest&rdquo;

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 16:08
Taken from his dorm at Moscow’s Literary Institute in the middle of the night, Naum Korzhavin faced down his interrogators and survived. He “won this idiocy contest”

A campaign against humanity. Invalided from civil service for alcoholism, <strong>Flann O&rsquo;Brien</strong> turned his ire on publishers, television producers, and James Joyce

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 16:08
A campaign against humanity. Invalided from civil service for alcoholism, Flann O’Brien turned his ire on publishers, television producers, and James Joyce

<strong>Donald Hall</strong>&rsquo;s poetry could be dismissed as patriarchal, capitalist, and nationalist. But it also teaches persistence, practicality, and farsightedness

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 16:08
Donald Hall’s poetry could be dismissed as patriarchal, capitalist, and nationalist. But it also teaches persistence, practicality, and farsightedness

At the age of 38, <strong>Alexander Wilson</strong> was a middling poet with no scientific expertise. So how did he produce, over the next 10 years, his astounding ornithological writings?

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 16:52
At the age of 38, Alexander Wilson was a middling poet with no scientific expertise. So how did he produce, over the next 10 years, his astounding ornithological writings?

A farrago of politics, preaching, and fireworks. <strong><em>A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur&rsquo;s Court</em></strong> is the literary equivalent of the Fourth of July

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 16:52
A farrago of politics, preaching, and fireworks. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is the literary equivalent of the Fourth of July

The good life, according to <strong>Aztec philosophy</strong>: The goal was not the pursuit of perfection but rather rootedness, moderation, prudence, and courage

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 16:52
The good life, according to Aztec philosophy: The goal was not the pursuit of perfection but rather rootedness, moderation, prudence, and courage

The conflict between the <strong>sciences and the humanities</strong> isn't resolvable as long as we disagree about what it means to be an educated person

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 12:32
The conflict between the sciences and the humanities isn't resolvable as long as we disagree about what it means to be an educated person